Water in aquifers is brought to the surface by wells, which is a hole drilled into an aquifer. Groundwater is brought to the surface by a pump that provides the force necessary to push water up from the earth below. A screen filters out unwanted particles that can clog the pipe.
How deep are wells?
The depth of a well depends on how far the “saturated zone” is below the surface (or you may call this the “depth to the water table”). Wells can be several feet deep or several hundred feet deep. Shallow wells that are less than 50 feet deep draw water that is very close to the surface. In areas where the soil, sand and rock above the aquifer is permeable, pollutants can sink into the ground water. This is contamination, and can be dangerous. An aquifer can be contaminated by a well if:
- it is not properly constructed, or…
- toxic materials are released into the well.
Some wells can be more than 1,000 feet deep! Deep wells often have a pump placed
at the bottom to push water to the surface.
Read how you can protect your own source of drinking water:
- Private Drinking Water Well Information – EPA provides a wide range of information to the private well owner
- Washington State Department of Health -Drinking Water Division – Everything you want to know about your drinking water from the state perspective, such as regulation, compliance, source water protection, contaminants and publications.